Home made bread and other announcements

To all of you who are dealing with hurricane Sandy’s
bad behavior, here’s a reminder of how beautiful the
season of fall can be. These photos were taken during
the last few weeks.

I hope the monster storm moves away and dissipates
quickly – and the overflowing fresh and ocean waters
return to their usual levels.

May you have power and clean water and may your
life goes back to normal.

To view my autumn photo album,
click on the “slideshow” link,
then click “start slideshow” if necessary.
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A taste of a beautiful fall

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween—rkramer62 (Flickr.com)

Home made bread

This morning I decided to bake a loaf of bread. It’s been a while since the last one and now I really want to enjoy some home baked, made from scratch bread, made exactly the way I like it. Besides, with the temperature drop, some extra cooking and baking will nicely heat the house… 🙂

I’ve been very lucky in my life – to be able to learn the secrets of cooking from three excellent housewives. The first one was my maternal grandmother and the other two were not blood related but they were making some dishes I’ve never seen before – or any place else.

My grandmother, however, perfected the art of making the most delicious meals out of nothing, so to speak.

What do we owe to the grocer?

While being a young family with two kids and living very frugally, my gran would make her husband’s lunch every day. He always ate the best of all the guys at work so one day his coworkers asked him how much debt he had at the grocery store – for all the good food he was eating day after day.

I can imagine that afternoon my grandfather wasn’t in his best mood ever when he came from work and confronted my gran about how much she owed to the grocer. But, there was no debt. My grandmother just figured out how to use everything that was available – to its very best and the tastiest.

Memories of my granny

As I’m typing, the memories of my granny keep coming to me and the most vivid ones are those of the dishes she made especially for me, like “jota” and “špehovka.” She would put a large pot of “kisla repa – jota” on the table, sit down and watch me eat.

And I sure ate a lot! So much so, that she could never get over how much food a tiny girl like me was able to clear away. Then she would say, every time, more to herself than to me, that a “change of air” must have been causing my enormous appetite. I wish I told her back then that it was her secret ingredient that made me eat so much: her recipes and cooking came from her heart. Thank you, “stara mama!!”

My granny (stara mama) Marija with her two daughters, Zvonka and Ivana

My granny (stara mama) Marija with her two daughters, Zvonka and Ivana

The joy of cooking

Everyone who’s ever cooked or baked something and enjoyed it, certainly knows the difference between “just throwing something together” and “cooking with love.” In my eyes that compares to an athlete “in the zone” and another one who’s out of shape. In sports that makes a difference between winning and losing a game or a race. With cooking, that could mean the difference between something edible (or not quite) – and the best meal you’ve ever tasted.

At this point in my life I’m once again experiencing the joy of cooking. I lost it for some time and I now realize that I missed combining all different ingredients into something great to eat in the kitchen.

Fortunately, I’ve never lost my appreciation for good food. I just love to eat! All of a sudden I also understand some traditions about making bread I’ve learned from experienced bakers in Slovenia.

Bread baking traditions

The first rule of bread baking tradition is that the dough for bread is supposed to be kneeded early in the morning – so it raises with the sun.

The other one is blessing of every loaf of bread before putting it in the oven. I was watching times and times again a hand, still covered in dough and flower, tracing a cross over an unbaked loaf. When I was a child, I thought that was just a habit, a step in the process. And now I understand that there was way more meaning to that gesture – than a symbol of a cross…

Loaf of bread, Loaf

Loaf of bread, Loaf—WordRidden (Flickr.com)

Cutting fresh loaf of home made bread and biting into the first, still warm (end) slice or “krajček,” is a great pleasure, every single time. But what I love the most about bread baking is the way my whole house smells. It brings the memories of walking down the main street in the nearby town early in the morning.

The whole street was filled with that same invigorating aroma from the bakery, just stocked with variety of freshly baked breads and pastries, made that morning. I don’t remember ever passing it by. Every time I would get a “potička, makovka” or “žemlja.” Best breakfast ever!!

My family on my sixth birthday

My family on my sixth birthday

Slovenian American Club announcements

  • board meeting: Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at 2 PM
  • first dance: Friday, November 16, 2012, at 7 PM. Live music – something for everyone, including polkas – by NU SOUNDZ band
  • Christmas event – TRIBUTE TO AMERICA’S POLKA KING, FRANK YANKOVIC – Sunday, December 23, 2012, at 2 PM. Music by Bob Kravos & Bob Turcola. For a chance to win one of the door prizes, pre-order tickets online by clicking here.
  • complete schedule for the upcoming season can be viewed here.

That’s all for today.

No matter where you are, enjoy a slice of good bread – and stay warm and dry.

From my heart,

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Slovenian flavored Super Bowl Sunday

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About the author

Daria

Most of all Daria enjoys creating, designing, taking photos of, writing about and sharing all the beautiful, cheerful things and moments. She finds them everywhere she goes. And tons of fun people, too!

4comments
richard miller - October 31, 2012

… hi Dar ! … great photos and i can smell the hot bread ! …
… thanks for a lot for your thoughts and info………. starting to get cold
up here in north florida …… 45F last night …………. rm

Reply
    Daria - October 31, 2012

    Hi Richard,
    The last two nights were cold here as well. We had to turn the heat on last night. But it looks like the temperatures are returning back to normal and we’ll be able to feel like we live in Florida once again… lol
    I’m glad you’re enjoying my writing and thank you for letting me know!!

    Reply
Ruth Read - November 5, 2012

I love this! It brought back so many memories of my mothers bread making! We could smell the fresh bread when we got off the school bus. We would run as fast as we could to get a piece of warm fresh baked bread right out of the oven. Oh my mouth is watering! I can smell the bread now just from the memories. I think she timed it just right.

Reply
Ruth Read - November 5, 2012

Love the photos of your family too.

Reply
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